Mobilegeddon (Part One of Two)
Feel like you’ve got SEO (search engine optimization) down? Get ready for change.
Last week, Google announced a seismic change to their search algorithm. Effective immediately, Google now counts the mobile-friendliness, or "responsiveness," of your site when determining where you fall in their search results.
Say you’ve been consistently coming up close to/or near the top when people search for printing in a certain geography. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly and your competitors’ are, you might unpleasantly find your company’s name further down the Google search list than before.
This is a big deal for Web-savvy printers because search positioning is a significant driver of new business. If someone is searching for what you're selling, and you don’t come up because your Website isn’t responsive, you won’t get the selling opportunity, and that’s a shame.
To see whether your site is mobile-friendly, Google makes it easy: google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly. When you test your URL, this is the result you want to see:
Over the years, my designers have taken significant pains to make our graphic arts client sites as SEO-friendly as possible. Nonetheless, we’ve got some work to do ourselves.
The four traditional horsemen of SEO are still important:
- Page titles—Make sure your page titles accurately describe the content on each page.
- Content—Content needs to be updated on a regular basis. Multiple use of key search terms should be used in ordinary prose. This is a balancing act because overdoing it sounds stilted and is a turnoff to site visitors.
- Relevance—The more external sites that link to your site help determine relevance. Social media and blogging is a big help especially when others reference content and attribute it via external links to your site.
- Stickiness—How long users remain on your site counts. Compelling videos help keep users engaged.
But now there’s a fifth:
- Responsiveness/mobile-friendly—If you don’t have a mobile-friendly Website, it’s time to consider taking the responsive plunge, before your new business opportunities start declining.
Next week, we’ll delve a little deeper into mobile’s growing impact on SEO and what you should do about it.